While attempting Prelims Question Papers, how to tackle ‘Negative Marking’?

UPSC has moved a step ahead with CSE 2011 and in addition to cut down on ‘Guesses’ and ‘Luck’ with penalty on wrong answers introduced few years back, now UPSC is insisting on candidates who have the aptitude for the job in question - Civil Services by means of some questions with inbuilt negative marking.

In this immerging situation, to tackle the ‘Negative Marking’ you need to develop clear conceptual clarity, sharp memory and recall which can eliminate the chances of getting confused in examination hall.

The best approach is extensive study and as suggested by many toppers and even subject experts that Integrated Approach (Prelims-Mains focused) study is best way to cover the syllabus. 

Excellent preparation backed up by practicing solving questions within time-limit can be a boon.

Negative marking: Nothing negative about it.

One need to learn and practice a lot where they can take educated guess or say calculated risk.

If one feels that good number of questions have been answered correctly and the score may be much higher that perceived cut-off for that particular subject, one may think doing so.

If performance is average, one should refrain oneself from taking such steps which add risk of negative marking which can harm them heavily.

Penalty for wrong answers:
To tackle ‘Negative Marking’ you should be careful and in control as sometimes candidates do some silly mistakes. 

The following points would guide you in attempting objective questions with fewer chances of wrong answers.

  • The first and basic fundamental of solving objective type questions is to read complete question carefully.
  • If you know the answer while reading question, don’t jump to conclusion before reading all the alternatives.
  • If you get confused with any question, look for the clues in the question and the given alternatives. Re-read the complete question and try to reason out.
  • In seemingly tough questions eliminate the most unlikely answers first and then try to work out the correct answer.
  • Sometimes, you get stuck among two alternatives; try to take an educated guess.
  • If you muddle up with some question, many a times it is the first choice that is correct. So, look at the question again and make sure that your answer is the best one as per your knowledge.
  • Try each question if possible; but, leave those questions which you are not able to reason out completely.

Inbuilt Negative marking

As clearly indicated in the application form, UPSC is going to introduce inbuilt negative marking in some questions which will have no definite ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ answer.

Each of the alternatives given would be the most appropriate or least appropriate answer and on that basis would have different value for each answer you choose.

These question may relate to work environment, relationship with other people, can be general in nature to assess your outlook towards common things, these can be framed to assess your ability to deal with your emotions and even other’s emotions as well.

Even some questions involving decision making and finding out the ways which leads to problem solving as well can have such differential value of marks attached.

Last Update Sunday 17th February 2019     

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